Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Fatherland is the nation of one's "fathers" or "forefathers." It can be viewed as a nationalist concept, insofar as it relates to nations. (Compare to motherland and homeland.)

Groups that refer to their homeland as a "fatherland" (or rather, cognates of this English word in their languages), or, arguably, associate it primarily with paternal concepts include:

Note for German, however, that "das" is grammatically neuter; das Vaterland is "the land of my father," not "the land that is my father." Die Heimat (the homeland) is grammatically feminine. Vaterland has been used since the 12th century with the meaning "native country". An adjective vaterländisch is used since the 18th century, meaning something like patriotic or nationalistic. Mutterland (motherland) means a mother country in contrast to its colonies.

"Fatherland" is also the title of a thriller novel by the English writer and journalist, Robert Harris, which doubles as a work of virtual history and postulates a world in which Nazi Germany was triumphant as a consequence of World War II. A TV movie of the book was made in 1994 by HBO, and starred Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson.

See also: national anthem

External Links and References

Vaterland, etc.

Nationalism and Ethnicity - A Theoretical Overview
The problem of German identity...
Nation, State, and Economy: The Nationality Principle in Politics: Liberal or Pacifistic Nationalism, Ludwig von Mises
National anthems ("Allons enfants de la Patrie", "Blühe, deutsches Vaterland")
Origins of the German State, Robert Selig, German Life